Homeschooling in California

It was upsetting, but not shocking, to read about the recent California Court of Appeals decision In Re Rachel L., that asserted that “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children,” and that homeschooling is illegal unless the parent has a teaching credential.

I’m not sure whether this is a bad decision in terms of how it applies existing law, but it sure is bad in terms of protecting basic rights.

Fortunately, it seems that Gov. Schwarzenegger has the right idea about all of this, and will urge the improvement of existing law.

Perhaps this can be like the Kelo v. City of New London case that ruled against property rights, but raised awareness enough to change the laws in several states, and reduce incidence of eminent domain abuses.

There’s too much to say about schooling in a single blog post, but I just want to note that it’s amazing how blind so many people, who claim to be vitally concerned about civil liberties, can be to the basic injustice of the state position. Children are not criminals. They do not deserve to be forced into state education facilities. Homeschooling is not producing worse outcomes than public schooling. It seems to be an article of faith in the religion of statism that children are better off going to state-run schools.

I agree that children should be protected from parents who deny them access to basic information about the world to the extent that it inhibits their ability to develop the knowledge and skills required for a successful, independent, adulthood.

But, it seems to me that the evidence is overwhelming that mandating school attendance (with state-credentialed teachers) is very far from the most reasonable way to achieve this protection.

Children have a right to be fed, too! But, we don’t mandate that state-credentialed nutrition professionals prepare each child’s food. I can imagine the high cost and low quality of that food.

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